Two caregivers link hands to create a hammock, which supports a patient sitting on top of a heart.

From Caregiver to Caregiver: How To Support A Loved One With Prostate Cancer

Last updated: October 2022

Sometimes we do not know how to help someone who is facing prostate cancer. It can be hard to know what support looks like during this tough time.

To learn more about how our community members are showing up, we asked our Facebook community: “How do you support your loved one with prostate cancer?”

More than 60 members answered. Here is what was shared.

My partner was by my side

For those who have partners, there is an indescribable comfort in having support throughout the whole journey. Nobody wants to feel alone, especially during a stressful time.

However, someone need not be married or in a relationship to have constant support. Friends can be an amazing source of support, whether they are sitting with you at the hospital during your radiation treatment or watching TV together at home afterward.

“My husband has prostate cancer, and I will always be by his side. He is my rock.”

“When I had it, my wife was by my side every step of the way, and it made it easier to deal with it.”

Go with them to the doctor appointment

There is perhaps no kinder act of service for someone with prostate cancer than joining them for their doctor appointments.

Nearly everyone dreads going to the doctor, so having any kind of comfort and support during that time is wonderful. Also, if a friend or loved one takes notes or records the session, it can serve as a helpful resource later on. This is especially valuable considering how hard it can be to absorb all the information that is discussed during an appointment.

“My wife has been there the entire time on this journey. All doctor visits. Procedures and treatments. She has been my rock. Almost every patient where I was treated had their spouse with them every day.”

“Go with them to the doctor appointment and take notes.”

Attend his radiation treatments together

Radiation treatments certainly feel like a chore, to say the least. A common course of treatment might be five days a week. The time spent undergoing treatment is quick, but the set-up process can be time consuming. Because of this, it can be nice to have company.

“My wife helped me through 48 treatments of radiation!”

“Go see what he goes through with the radiation treatments.”

Ask how you may be of service

When you do not know how to help someone who is struggling with prostate cancer, it can make you feel paralyzed. Sometimes people fear doing or saying the wrong thing, so they may not know what to do or how to reach out. Close friends of someone with prostate cancer may start to distance themselves following the diagnosis.

Instead, connect with your loved one or friend and simply ask what you can do to help. Of course, then follow through and routinely check in with them.

“People went out of their way to help me. The meds and treatment made me so sick. If you want to help someone, ask what they need. Sometimes it is just a talk.”

“Ask how you may be of service!”

Continue the conversation in the comments

We are grateful to everyone who answered this prompt and shared how they 'show up' for their loved one.

Keep the conversation going in the comments! Tell us how you support your loved one with prostate cancer and what advice you would offer to other caregivers and partners.

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